Premises liability refers to the responsibility a person has to provide a reasonably safe environment for people who come on their property. This applies even if they do not own the property. If you visit someone and sustain an injury as the result of an unsafe environment, you may be able to file a claim for your damages.

As with most things, premises liability is more complicated than it first appears. For example, what if you did not have permission to be there? What is the landlord’s role in premises liability? Keep reading for more information on determining premises liability.

The status of the visitor

According to FindLaw, determining liability depends on the situation and the status of the visitor. A visitor may have one of the following designations:

  • A trespasser who has no right to be on the property
  • A social guest who is welcome to visit the property
  • An invitee typically applies to patrons visiting businesses
  • A licensee who has permission and rights to be on the property

Generally speaking, if you are trespassing on a property and hurt yourself, the court may not rule in your favor since the property owner or renter has no obligation to ensure your safety. There may be exceptions in certain circumstances, however.

A special rule for landlords

Trying to hold a landlord responsible for a property they do not live in can be difficult because they cannot just enter their renters’ homes to ensure safety. Because of this, there is a special rule regarding landlords that relieves them from liability in most cases. There are several exceptions to this rule, however, that may hold them liable depending on the specifics of the case.